lxndryng - a blog by a millennial with a job in IT


I am Alexander Young, a 25 year-old Infrastructure Solution Architect at HM Revenue and Customs. Any formulation of my job title doesn't quite cover what I do, I feel, but my work tends to be around solution design, strategic direction in the cloud space and, well, whatever else comes up that doesn't really fit with anyone else's portfolio. If I were more intolerable, I'd probably describe myself as an 'architect-at-large'.

My key areas of interest are development and operations tooling (everything from source control tools to log aggregation and analysis tools to continuous integration and deployment tools) and methods to best leverage offerings such as AWS's Spot pricing and Google Cloud Platform's Preemptible instances. The drive behind a lot of what I do is open-source advocacy - not driven solely by my own frugality, but also by the belief that all work that government does on behalf of its citizens should be made available for its citizens' consumption at their will. Anything else is tantamount to an act of violence against a state's populace.

I'm a graduate of the London School of Economics and Political Science, with a first class degree in Politics & Philosophy. I could say the choice of course was due to a will to pick up a variety of transferrable skills to best position myself for, what was in 2012, a hostile job marketplace for new graduates, but that would be an out-and-out falsehood: I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life and sixteen, and I'd closed the door on studying computer science at university by not doing a maths A-level. We all have our folly.

My love of computers and computing was kindled initially computer games - the idea that computers could be used to realise things not immediately possible through other means - and then by the inheritance through family members of a 386 PC in 2002. We weren't the most well-to-do family growing up, and having to (and being able to) make an archaic computer do what I needed to was an enlightening and educational experience, the trial-and-error satisfaction of which has stayed with me as an inspiration. I genuinely think there is a causal link between my perusing GORILLA.BAS's source code and my relative workplace success.

Naturally, any opinions expressed on this website are not those of my employer and may not even be mine at the time they are read.

I can be found on Twitter at @alexander_p_y